Devotion and decadence mix for Ramadan

Who says devotion and decadence can't mix? A luxury Indonesian hotel has crafted a chocolate replica of Islam's holiest shrine for Ramadan.

by: Reuters | 02 Oct 2007

It took the chefs at the Grand Melia Hotel in Jakarta two months and 150 kg of white and dark chocolate to create the huge model of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The shrine, known as the Haram al-Sharif or the Masjid al-Haram, is home to the Kabaa, the black cube-shaped stone which Muslims around the world turn to five times a day in prayer.

"It's already a tradition for us that every Ramadan we create something to respect the holy month and this year we create a replica of Masjid al-Haram," said the Grand Melia Director of Food and Beverage Eduard Pangkerego.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation and Ramadan, which began this year on Sept. 13, is a time of heightened religious fervour with believers spending hours in prayer and recitation of the Koran in a bid to purify the soul.

Chefs said the chocolate mosque will be dismantled at the end of Ramadan, but it will not be eaten after being put on public display for a month.

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